Already a worried mama

There’s really no good way to prepare for pregnancy after miscarriage. There are blogs and articles, but none of them can really prepare you for the anxiety of losing your new little love. From the morning of the positive test, I was already a worried mama.

There’s really no good way to prepare for pregnancy after miscarriage. There are blogs and articles, but none of them can really prepare you for the anxiety of losing your new little love. From the morning of the positive test, I was already a worried mama.

I was given a prescription for Progesterone to start taking immediately after we learned we were pregnant to help reduce the risk of loss.

I had blood work done within days of the positive pregnancy test to make sure my HCG levels were at least doubling.

The doctors were gracious enough to give us a 6-week ultrasound instead of at 8-weeks to check and make sure our baby was okay.

We’ve been slow to plan the normal things- her name, her nursery, etc. because we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

I’ve either cried, hyperventilated, or both prior to every single appointment we’ve had in fear that they would tell us that something is wrong.

I’ve cried at the end of most appointments in relief that we could see our sweet baby in the ultrasound and/or hear the heartbeat.

I panicked when I got the flu in January, terrified that it would somehow hurt my little darling.

Now there’s the dang Coronavirus that’s taken over the entire world during my third trimester. I’m staying completely quarantined at home. It’s extra difficult not seeing my parents or my sister, but with so much being unknown about how the virus affects pregnancy, it’s not worth any risk.

Seth still has to work, but we’re regularly adding to our precautions of not bringing any germs home. And I just pray every day that he won’t catch it.

I’m also praying that none of our doctor’s appointments get cancelled so that we can continue to have peace of mind that she’s okay. And that I can find online videos or courses to replace the hospital maternity/parenting classes that have been cancelled.

I’m mentally preparing for it to be only me and Seth at the hospital due to the new visitor restrictions. I’m hoping it doesn’t get any stricter.

And then there’s last night, when I realized I hadn’t felt her move in several hours and got completely panicked. Kick counts are important during the third trimester, and I hadn’t felt her at all during the time span where she’s normally moving a ton.

I cried for at least an hour while my wonderful husband talked to my belly, googled the ways to get her to move, and prayed out loud. Eventually and thankfully, she did start wiggling around.

During the wait, I just kept thinking that we are so close; we can’t lose her now. It was too difficult losing our first baby, and that situation was so different and much earlier. Now our baby girl has adorable ultrasound pictures, and she has a name (though we’re not sharing until she’s born). There was more PTSD tonight from our first loss, and it was really hard to come out of it.

This has been a long 30 weeks of worry. But also of thankfulness. Seth and I are just so grateful for every good report on our sweet girl. We are 10 weeks out from our due date. We’re slowly getting furniture and decorations for her nursery. We dream about what she’ll look like and what personality traits she’ll get from who. We are so ready to meet our baby girl.

This anxious mama just has to hang on for 70 more days. Then we have her whole life to go, which is a whole different kind of worry so I’m told. But at least she’ll physically be here in our arms to love, nurture, and teach how to do good in this world.

Loss and New Life

This week we remember our first baby. This week we also go to meet our second baby for a 6-week ultrasound. That’s right… we’re expecting again!

This week we remember our first baby. October 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It’s only been a little over 3 months since we said goodbye to our little nugget, but our first sweet baby is remembered every day.

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This week we also go to meet our second baby for a 6-week ultrasound. That’s right… we’re expecting again! Four months exactly to the day that we learned we were pregnant the first time.

Every night for the last 3 months and 8 days, I’ve asked God to take care of my little nugget, and to please give us another baby that we can keep. It’s that last part that’s tripping me up though. Will we get to keep this one? The doctors have assured me that at this point, there is no reason why we should have trouble again. We did some blood tests the first couple of days to check my hCG levels, and instead of doubling, they tripled! I’m also on progesterone supplements which is supposed to help prevent miscarriage.

I am excited and thankful. This time I want to publicly celebrate this tiny little life. Screw the waiting rule/suggestion. We didn’t have a safe zone last time, so our loved ones only shared in the sorrow. Please celebrate this new little one with us!

I am also terrified and in denial. I think part of me is telling myself to expect the worst when we go to the doctor later this week, so if it is bad news, maybe we won’t be blindsided.

And then there’s still sadness. Much of this whole pregnancy thing is still so recent and familiar, and it feels like it should still be my little nugget. But it’s not. Notice we haven’t nicknamed this baby yet. She (Seth’s convinced it’ll be a girl) will not be called nugget because that’s already been claimed. I’ve found a different pregnancy app that I don’t like as much but using the other was too sad and confusing. This little one will be our firstborn, who won’t know her older sibling. It’s all very emotionally confusing.

I’ve read several blogs about pregnancy after miscarriage, and it’s comforting to know that all I’m feeling is normal. I’ll close with a prayer I wrote the morning we learned we were pregnant again.

Lord, please give us this baby. I am so thankful that you healed my body already and that Seth and I were able to create another little human together. Lord I want to be excited. I want to be over the moon, full of smiles and giggles, but at the moment I’m just in terrified shock. I’m a little scared that I’ve already lost the baby before I even knew I was expecting. I don’t want to wonder if the egg is developing. I don’t want to wait weeks and weeks and weeks to know. I really don’t think my heart and my health can handle losing another child. Lord please continue to heal and give favor to my body. Help me to do all I need to to give this little sweetheart a good, safe environment to grow into a healthy baby. Please settle our hearts. Please give us peace that you want what is good for us. Lord overall, please just take care of us. We’re still really fragile. Thank you again for this little glimmer of hope.

Blessed Grief

Grief is the pits; grief manifests in so many ways, and there is no timeline.
However, there are still many blessings and they definitely help keep me going.

Grief is running late everywhere you go because it’s too hard to get up and get ready like you used to.

Grief/anxiety got so out of control that it physically manifested itself as itching, and then weeks later as eczema.

Grief is having a short fuse and snapping about something small… ALL THE TIME.

Grief is being sick for 3 work days but still wanting to take another whole week off.

Grief/anxiety is regaining 12 of the 24 lbs you lost earlier this year because fast food is easy and sugar is delicious.

Grief is crying through at least 1 song at church every Sunday.

Grief/anxiety is falling asleep before 9:30pm most nights because you’re too exhausted from emotionally keeping it together all day.

Grief is not keeping your Krav training routine because it hurts to be to be physically beaten when you’re already mentally beaten.

Grief is hibernating on the weekends because you’re tired of human interaction when everything just hurts.

Grief is sobbing through your annual gynecologist appointment because it’s your 6th time being there this year but this time it’s not for a baby.

Grief is keeping your head down in the waiting room because of all the pregnant bellies and celebrated ultrasound pictures that you didn’t get to have.

Grief is asking God to take care of your baby up there and to please give us another down here that we can keep.

Grief is prolonged when medical bills continue to come in the mail.

Grief is playing with puppies and wondering how much better it will be playing with your own babies one day.

Grief is not cooking dinner on Sunday nights because you just can’t.

Grief is throwing away a 2-gallon bag of food because you haven’t felt like cleaning out the fridge.

Grief is ruining a recipe and throwing away all of the contents instead of making a plan to salvage the ingredients because everything is the end of the world.

Grief is sticking your hands into cold, soapy dishwater for the 4th time in one weekend because you haven’t been able to actually wash the dishes.

Grief is the pits. There is no timeline. Most people give you a pass for all of these things but then it just feels like a crutch. Part of tonight, like many nights, was full of grief.

However…

Blessed is having a husband

-who verbally lists every restaurant in a 2 mile radius until something sounds good to eat when you don’t feel like cooking.

-who holds me and comforts me while I cry even when he’s hurting too.

-who will burst into homemade songs just to lighten the mood.

-who speaks truth into my lies.

-who prays aloud when I can’t.

-who shows me unconditional love every single day.

Blessed is having the greatest parents and sister in the world who regularly encourage and advise me.

Blessed is having friends who check on me every day and remind me to give myself grace.

Blessed is still having financial stability despite the thousands of dollars we’ve paid on medical bills.

There are still many blessings. I’m not always the most optimistic to point them out, but I know they’re there. And they definitely help keep me going.

Ready or not, life goes on.

I need a win. Any win will do. Survival mode is wearing me out, and it’s no way to live. Life goes on, with or without me living my best life. I’d prefer to enjoy it.

Tomorrow is 5 weeks since we said goodbye to our baby, and my heart still aches every day. I miss him. [We were convinced even though it was early on that it was a boy.] Previously scheduled ultrasound dates have passed that we didn’t attend. Events where we intended to announce have also come and gone. And I just miss my baby. I don’t know how to fully grasp that we’ll never know the first little life that we created. I’ve asked a select few in my life if they believe I will meet our baby in heaven one day. Do clusters of baby cells go to heaven? Will I be able to know my little one some day? I have to believe yes.

I also find it confusing how much I miss my little nugget. My mom said it’s because I already bonded with it. But my body was deceived into thinking I was growing a tiny human, and so then I wonder, how real was my bond? I’m curious how long my body would’ve gone before it naturally realized that all I was growing was a gestational sac. It never knew. And that is also confusing.

Initially, I didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted people to know that it happened, but not necessarily bring it up. However, now I’ve changed my mind. The problem is, people don’t know how to react. When no one mentions my baby at all, it hurts my feelings. Often times when I do bring it up, the topic gets changed too quickly. Who cares if I cry? I am allowed to. Who cares if it’s awkward? It’s real life.

I have been given some thoughtful momentos to help honor and remember our baby. These are handmade origami roses and a beautiful stone heart from Africa. I was also given a baby blanket to encourage us that God will provide more babies in the future. For these generous gifts, I’m very thankful.

I suppose my body and hormones are mostly back to normal. My body has definitely been through more than I thought it could handle in two months. The week after the D&C, my body decided it wasn’t going to heal normally from the procedure. I ended up back at the doctor who was concerned and confused about what was happening. I was given medicine that thankfully helped, but it was really rough for a few days. I had 3 ultrasounds in 3 weeks, each of them with no baby. The last one was after the D&C, and even though I knew what had happened during the surgery, I still looked for my baby. Denial is real.

This week all of my medical bills came in. Yet another thing not spoken about is how expensive it is to have a miscarriage. Total, I will end up paying almost $1,000… to not have a child. That is just absolutely ridiculous to me.

The only good aspect of not being pregnant right now is that I’m able to continue going to my Krav classes. They’ve been a lifesaver. I told my trainer that Krav has helped me overcome so much fear and PTSD from other unfair seasons of life, and I know that it will also help me combat my grief and loss.

But tonight I was defeated. I’m not great at fighting on the ground. I rolled with a girl who regularly trains in jiu-jitsu. She killed me, and I have all the respect in the world for her strength and talent, but at one point I yelled, “I’m completely getting my ass kicked here. Any tips?” The response was something along the lines of, “It’s good for you to be in these types of panic situations so you can learn in a controlled environment.”

I agree 100%. But in that moment, I realized that I was physically feeling everything that I’ve been experiencing emotionally for the last 2 months. I was pinned down with someone’s entire weight on me. It was difficult to move and at some points I was gasping for air due to panic. Regardless of how it appeared, I really was trying to fight back, but it wasn’t good enough. It’s really difficult to physically lose when you’re already mentally beaten. I sobbed all the way home.

I need a win. Any win will do. Survival mode is wearing me out, and it’s no way to live. Life goes on, with or without me living my best life. I’d prefer to enjoy it.

Our Little Nugget

5/29/19
“Hi little one. Today I found out that you exist, and I’m still in shock. I keep grinning like a goon and just want to tell the whole world. But so far it’s just me and your dad, your grandparents, and your Aunt Hannah. And we are all so excited. It’s insane to me that even though I’ve only known about you for about 6 hours, you’re already more important than anything else. I wish I could go home and read about pregnancy and what to expect. I don’t know anything about babies but I promise I’ll learn before you get here. It’s really hard to focus. And now we have to wait another month before we can see you in an ultrasound! It’s gonna be so hard to wait. Love you already.”

6/25/19
We’d been waiting for today for what feels like an eternity. We found out at 4 weeks that I was pregnant at 6:30am on a Wednesday morning. I called the doctor as soon as they opened only to find out that we had to wait until 8 weeks to come in for our first ultrasound and exam. I’ve read 3 different pregnancy books. The Bump app is amazing and allowed me to follow what fruit size the baby is, see a 3-D version of what the baby looks like each week, and what my body is doing with all these hormonal changes as it tries to grow a little human. Waiting an entire month to actually “meet” our baby via ultrasound and not sharing our excitement with anyone was really difficult.

This morning I woke up around 5:45am and smiled the entire time I was getting ready up until they called us back to the ultrasound. First they checked my cervix, then my ovaries, and then the baby.

Except she couldn’t find the baby.

The doctor walked in and almost immediately told us that there is a large concern that this could be a miscarriage. All the ultrasound showed was the gestational sac- no egg yolk, no baby, and no heart beat. They kept questioning if I was sure of my last menstrual date because hopefully we were just “off” on the timing. However the size of the gestational sac was large enough that it should’ve shown something… anything. (Even as I write this, I made the mistake of researching about what a first ultrasound is supposed to look like. Horrible idea. Our picture was a large black, empty circle. So empty.)

After this news, I heard nothing else. I didn’t feel the needle go in when they took blood. I hardly remember making our appointment for next week to check one more time with another ultrasound. All I could do is sob and stare at the ground. Everyone we passed in the office knew and was either full of pity or obvious discomfort.

I find it very difficult to physically speak. Thankfully Seth called my mama to break the news and tell her I called in to work. I sobbed the entire drive to my parents’ house. I was so out of it that I hit a trash can on the way and completely knocked off my passenger side mirror. It took me awhile to even realize what had happened.

The rest of my day consisted of meltdown after meltdown, a 3-hour nap, and lots of sitting in silence with my parents. There’s just literally nothing to say. I verbally told them one time what the doctor told us. I can write about it, but to say it aloud while looking someone in the face is absolute misery.

I’ve decided to not be optimistic going into our appointment next week in hopes that it will make a sad reality a little more bearable. We would love for our tiny nugget to just be hiding somehow and appear next week, as healthy as a tiny human could be. But it’s really not looking good.

For those of you who know me well, you know I don’t really care for children, so… surprise. In fact, from Mother’s Day 2018-October 2018 I prayed that God would change my desire to have children. And He really did. In October we began “planning” for what this would look like for us. In January I lost 24 lbs. to make my body as baby growing ready as possible. Vitamins and all the natural, hipster ways of getting ready to have a baby were a part of regular life. My heart was ready. And now my heart is broken for our little baby that we’ll never know.

7/2/19

“Today we went back to the doctor, and you still weren’t there. Despite saying that I was giving up hope last week, I prayed all day every day for a week that you were just hiding. I really really wanted to meet you our little nugget.”

Today our pregnancy was officially declared “not viable.” It’s called a blighted ovum where the fertilized egg doesn’t grow or develop into an embryo. However, even today at what would be 9 and a half weeks, my body still thinks it’s growing a tiny human.

We’ll never know any more details about our little nugget. But as far as I’m concerned, I don’t care if it was only a fertilized egg or a cluster of cells, it was ours. It was the first teeny tiny living organism that Seth and I created together regardless of how long it lived inside of me. It was loved and prayed for more than anyone else in my life for the short time we had together. It will always be my first baby.

On Friday, I’m scheduled for a D&C, and this part of the journey will physically be over.  I’m not sure what to expect beyond that. It’s difficult to discuss so please don’t force conversation about it; it’s easier to write about. And I’m really not a believer in pretending that everything is okay when it isn’t; hence this post.

We are heartbroken. We are angry. We are confused. I am hormonal and exhausted. And I don’t enjoy the cliche comforting words because there really are no words that make it better.

However, my husband is the strongest person I know, and I couldn’t be more thankful that he is leading our little family. God is still good despite all the nonsense we feel now. And our little nugget will always be cherished and remembered.